If you only have a couple of days to explore the White Mountains, there are iconic bucket list items you simply can’t miss. Here’s our list of five things you can do to get a taste of what the White Mountains has to offer.
Take a gondola ride
If you’re looking to take in some incredible views from the top of a mountain, but don’t have the time to climb up it yourself, consider taking a short ride up one of the White Mountains scenic gondola rides. The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway is an 80 passenger tram that takes you on a seven minute ride to the top of Cannon’s 4,080’ summit. On a clear day your view includes mountains in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and even Canada. Before you head back down, enjoy 360 degree views from the observation deck, get a snack in the café, and a beer in the bar. The Loon Mountain Resort Gondola Skyride is New Hampshire’s longest scenic gondola rides! Your gondola ticket also includes all-day access to Loon’s summit adventures: climb the observation tower of views of the White Mountains and the valley below, check out the summit nature trail, the mountain top playground, and explore the glacial caves. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy lunch at the Summit Café. The views of Mount Washington and the Presidential Range from Wildcat Mountain's 4-person gondola was named The Best Scenery in the East by SKI Magazine! Purchase the Lunch and Ride Package and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the summit.
Zipline through the trees
The White Mountains is known for its high flying zip line adventures, with incredible views of the White Mountains. Alpine Adventures is the largest zipline destination in New England. They offer three different zipline courses to accommodate different ages, and thrill-seeker levels. Attitash Mountain Resort boasts the “Longest Single Zipline in New Hampshire.” Guests can reach speeds up to 65 mph and soar between two mountain peaks.
Ride a train
Take a step back in time and experience how the early visitors traveled on their trips to the White Mountains. Each train offers a unique trip with incredible White Mountains scenery. The Conway Scenic Railroad in North Conway offers two different train excursions, where each journey begins at their 1874 Victorian train station. The Valley Train is a shorter ride that brings you through the Mount Washington Valley, and the Notch Train is an extended trip through Crawford Notch on tracks built in the 1870’s. The Mount Washington Cog Railway was an innovative invention when it was built in 1869. It was the world’s first mountain-climbing cog train and is still an engineering marvel. Visitors will climb to the top of Mount Washington and get to spend time on the top of the Northeast’s highest peak! If staying on the ground is more your speed, check out the Hobo Railroad. Come aboard for a relaxing 1.5 hour trip alongside the Pemigewasset River. The Hobo also offers special events and train excursions throughout the year for all members of the family.
Book a Moose Tour
If you’ve never seen a moose while in the White Mountains, then book an evening, 3-hour tour with one of our incredible moose tour companies. With an approximate 95% success rate across the board, you will most likely get to boast to your friends that you saw at least one (possibly several!) moose, while on your White Mountains getaway. Gorham Moose Tours is celebrating 12 years of running moose tours in the North Country and know all the best spots to find moose. North Conway’s Moose Safari is in its 11th season of entertaining, educating, and bringing guests on an unforgettable moose safari! Lincoln’s Pemi Valley Moose Tours not only brings their guests to where the moose roam, but they also give an historical and informative tour of the local area.
Drive the White Mountains Trail
The White Mountains have long been known for natural splendor, cultural richness, historical charm and stimulating recreation-as well as some of the most beautiful scenery in the eastern United States. The White Mountains Trail, designated a National Scenic Byway, encompasses all these aspects over the course of its 100-mile route. The Trail is a loop tour that winds through sections of the 800,000-acre White Mountain National Forest and past many of the region's most popular attractions. It can be driven in a day or can be used as a way to get in some side trips to the iconic getaway spots on your 2-day White Mountains bucket list. Stop in to the White Mountains Visitor’s Center to purchase the White Mountains CD, which narrates the journey.